CRIME

Pepco warns about fake utility bills

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(WJLA) - Scrolling through your email, you may see it – and there’s nothing fancy about it.

The email simply tells you that you have an account balance and splits up the charges between electricity and gas.

But the first clue that this is a fake balance is that Pepco doesn’t even provide gas. It’s a nationwide scam, according to Pepco spokesperson Bob Hainey, who says the company wants to get the word out.

"The key to this scam is do not click on any of the links. Those links could have viruses, they could be fishing and get some type of personal information," says Hainey.

He also adds that if you see something like it, delete it – do not forward it:

"If you click on the links, there is no telling what type of mischief can occur."

"I only get a notification only saying my bill is available,” says Pepco customer Wanda Wells from Hyattsville, who explains what she usually gets in her actual emails from the company.

Wells thinks she’d be able to tell a fake bill from a real one:

"Knowing what your normal pattern is, you shouldn't fall for it, but some people may think, 'I don't have to go through the headache of logging on, it's right here for me.'"

Ron McClary is a courier and he prefers to pay his bill in person – that way, he doesn’t have to worry about these types of scams.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, Pepco says. They’ve dealt with scammers before. Customers have complained about fake reps calling and asking for payment for a past due bill, or fake technicians saying they were on their way to the home to install a meter and that a deposit for the service was required.

 

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